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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

such great loss..

Recently a family member of mine lost her husband, who was in the military. To protect her privacy I won't go into details right now, but for some reason this loss has effected me greatly. Every single day I think of her and cry, weep even. I have said so many prayers for her and cried so many tears. It is just devastating and so, so sad. I'm not sure why this loss has touched me so personally, seeing as though I never actually met her or her husband. Maybe because it has made me think about my life and about the possibility of that happening to me. How would I ever recover from a loss like that? What would I do? Would I stay here in California where I love it so much or go back home to my family? Would I stay in bed for weeks at a time not able to face life without my husband or would I be strong, move on, recover, and thrive? Could I really raise kids on my own? Continue a pregnancy on my own? Give birth on my own? And if I were to ever lose Justin, would I remarry? I cannot imagine ever falling in love again after loving and suffering so. Would all of my military friends still remember me or would I be forced back into the civilian world? Would I seek counseling or bury all of my pain deep inside? How would a loss like this effect my children?? If I lost my husband, how would I generate income? Would I have to leave my sacred and beloved position as stay-at-home mom and go to work full time in my husband's place? If I did date, what would my children think? My precious children. How would they cope without their father, such an important figure in a child's life?

Should I have a plan for "just in case" or am I supposed to wait and see what happens? Am I supposed to just hope for the best? Let's face it, once my husband completes this training he will be a warrior through and through. He will be placed in dangerous and sometimes near impossible situations. Am I prepared for that? Can anyone be prepared for that?

What has happened to my relative has impacted me greatly. It has forced me to think about things that I always try to push out of my head. About things that are not pretty and easy, but hard and messy. About things that I'm not sure I am ready to confront. I can only pray for my husband's safety, and trust that God will look after him. And that He'll take care of me, too.

Friday, April 8, 2011

hope

Government shutdowns, paychecks cut in half and perhaps put on hold, livelihoods are at stake, futures are uncertain. I feel like in these shaky, scary, crazy times it's important to take a quiet moment in the midst of chaos and remember something: God is still in control. So, our government shuts down: God is still in control. So we don't get paid next month or the month after or even the month after that: God is still in control. Maybe we have to cut back on our spending, adjust our lifestyles: God is still in control. Although our futures may seem shaky and uncertain to us, God has a plan. God has always had a plan, God always will have a plan. We have to rest in that. When everything else seems a loss, we have to remember that. We have to draw from the knowledge that He is our Father, and fathers love their kids. Fathers take care of their kids. We have to trust in Him. When things get crazy, we have to rest in Him. He will give us strength when things get difficult, He will provide when the system fails us, He will take better care of us than anyone ever could! If we serve Him and put all of our faith in Him, then He will make sure our needs are met. Psalm 9:10 says: 'Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you'.

When things get hard, it is important to never forget that He has brought us through hard times before; and He will again. He will shelter and feed and clothe those who love Him and call on His name. When our world gets shaken, it's important not to get too caught up in the hard times. It's important to stay strong. It's important to pray, to ask God for help, and to move on. Because troubles will come and go, for as long as we're alive. It's a matter of what you will do when those troubles arise...

Friday, April 1, 2011

frienemy?

In my experience so far, there are two groups of Navy wife friends: those who lift you up and those who drag you down. The first type are the ones I prefer to be around, for obvious reasons. They are strong, self-assured women who are supportive and loyal friends. They are the ones who offer to babysit for you so you and your spouse can finally go on a date; they're the ones who keep you company while your husband is away; they're the ones who feel your pain and share in your joy. This last point is the one that greatly sets them apart from the other group; they share your joy. When your husband comes home from a month or two or three of training, they are nearly as excited as you are! Because they know the joy and excitement that you are feeling, and they don't begrudge you for it.

The other, less enjoyable group tend to hold grudges; they also are more jealous. These women always have this thought in the back of their minds: "Well, my life is harder than yours." "So what your husband will be gone for 5 months, I've had to be apart from mine much longer than that! Try a year!" It feels as though they are constantly competing with you for who has it hardest. They often play the pity card. They live out the statement "misery loves company." They can make you feel discouraged and much worse about a situation than the previous group of friends, who offer words of encouragement and prayers.

So far in my walk as a Navy wife, I have encountered both types of women. It is easy to be both types of women. I make a conscious decision every day to be a good friend, to be happy for my fellow wives when they are with their husbands...even if I am not with mine. I have had to weed out the nay-sayers and choose carefully who I spend my time with. Because let's face it, this life is hard enough. I don't need people whispering words of discouragement into my ear; I do that enough to myself. I need a group of strong, Godly, encouraging friends; and I think that's what I've found :)